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Sacred Woods and the Lore of Trees

ALDER (Alnus spp.) This tree is a water lover. The oily water resistant wood has been used extensively for underwater foundations and pilings in Venice and elsewhere. It is used in dairy vessels and the branches in making whistles. It is associated with Bran, as He used His body as a bridge to span dangerous . . . → Read More: Sacred Woods and the Lore of Trees

Exegesis on the Wiccan Rede

by Judy Harrow

All religions began with somebody’s sudden flashing insight, enlightenment, a shining vision. Some mystic found the way and the words to share the vision, and, sharing it, attracted followers. The followers may repeat those precise and poetic words about the vision until they congeal into set phrases, fused language, repeated by rote . . . → Read More: Exegesis on the Wiccan Rede

Our Pagan Elders: Who They Are and Why

by Melanie Fire Salamander Many pagans consider Samhain a time to honor ancestors. This Samhain, Widdershins looks at the community’s ancestors, our pagan elders, a topic connected with the paper since its birth.

In early 1995, the year Widdershins was born, the topic “Where are the elders?” was the subject of an editorial in a . . . → Read More: Our Pagan Elders: Who They Are and Why

Tribute to Britain’s last ‘witch’

by STEPHANIE BUNGAY SHE was the last person in Britain to be tried as a witch – in a 1944 case Winston Churchill called “obsolete tomfoolery”. Her ability to inform relatives about loved ones who had died abroad during the Second World War led to her family being demonised. Even 54 years later, then-Home Secretary . . . → Read More: Tribute to Britain’s last ‘witch’

First Nations grandparents increasingly taking charge of grandchildren

By Michelle McQuigge TORONTO — On Feb. 12, 2005, Connie Johnson sent her husband out to cruise Ottawa’s downtown streets in search of her five-year-old granddaughter. She had just gotten word that Maggie was in the care of her drug-addicted mother, in direct violation of orders from the Children’s Aid Society. Hours later, Johnson’s husband . . . → Read More: First Nations grandparents increasingly taking charge of grandchildren

Germans claim they ‘invented’ Halloween

By Ernest Gill Hamburg – Forget all those books that say the Irish invented Halloween and that Irish-Americans popularised it in the 20th Century. Experts in Germany say Halloween was invented by witches in the Black Forest of Germany. Be that as it may, law-enforcement authorities in Germany are alarmed at a dramatic increase in . . . → Read More: Germans claim they ‘invented’ Halloween

Pagan Involvement in the Interfaith Movement

I am a Witch; a Wiccan priestess if you prefer; a Pagan to use a larger religious categorization, with an M.Div. from Harvard. I walk in many social and spiritual realms. I am a feminist. As a young woman, I recognized in the writings of the activist Witch Starhawk my own reverence for nature and . . . → Read More: Pagan Involvement in the Interfaith Movement

Wiccans mark new year

By LIZ MUGAVERO For Wiccans, Samhain (pronounced SOW-wen), or Halloween, is the beginning of the Celtic new year, as well as the feast of the dead. But there are no pointy hats or devilish ceremonies involved, as some may be inclined to think. “There is no Satan in our craft,” said Lady Etane Elizabeth, a . . . → Read More: Wiccans mark new year

The Gaia Thesis

By Rae Schwarz First formulated in the early 1970s, the Gaia Hypothesis or Gaia Thesis encapsulates the idea that the Earth and the space very near to it is a living being, with all life on the surface being part of a single larger living whole. This theory has been growing in popularity since its . . . → Read More: The Gaia Thesis

Sympathetic Magic

All sympathetic magic is based upon two principles: first, “likes produce likes,” or that an effect resembles it cause; and, second, that things having been in contact with each other continue to react upon one and another at a distant even after they have been severed or disconnected. The former principle is called the Law . . . → Read More: Sympathetic Magic